Johnny Depp's City of Lies movie has been pulled just one month ahead of its release. In the film, Depp plays a detective who investigates the decades-old murder of iconic rap star Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G., who was gunned down in 1997. The real-life case remains unsolved to this day, with no official murder charges filed, and was about to get the big-screen treatment in the form of the Brad Furman-directed City of Lies.
Distributor Global Road, however, now has different plans for the film, which also stars Forest Whitaker as an investigative journalist who teams up with Depp's character. Despite no clear reasons for the decision as of this writing, Global Road has decided to withhold City of Lies unusually close to its release.
As reported by EW, Global Road confirmed that City of Lies has been pulled from release just a month before it was set to hit theaters nationwide. An official comment hasn't been given yet and no new release date has been set for the film, leaving the reasons for its disappearance from the September release calendar as mysterious as the tragic murders that inspired it.
According to the official synopsis from Good Film, City of Lies covered not just the fresh investigation into the murder of the rap legend known as "Biggie Smalls" years later but also a "web of corruption" within the Los Angeles Police Department, as well as the murder's possible connections to the slaying of fellow rap icon Tupac Shakur, who was shot and killed six months before.
Depp has been embroiled in a number of recent controversies, most recently that he's being sued for allegedly assaulting the location manager on the City of Lies set. It's unknown at this point if the lawsuit, or any other personal issues with Depp, are related to Global Road's decision to pull City of Lies before release. Depp also made headlines when accused of domestic abuse against his now-ex-wife, Amber Heard. Any connections between these controversies and the pulling of City of Lies from release would be pure speculation at this point, but the silence from the involved parties regarding the decision only serve to invite more questions.
More details could very well emerge in the coming days to give more clarity to Global Road's decision. To shelve a film so close to its release date appears to be a drastic move, especially when done with no official explanation. Depp is also starring in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which remains on schedule for its November release, but that movie has also been embroiled in controversy over Depp's casting. Disney is also still planning to release Pirates of the Caribbean 6, the latest in a franchise that has long-starred Depp as Jack Sparrow. So, it's hard to determine if Depp's legal troubles are actually playing a role in the City of Lies news. Whatever the reasons turn out to be for City of Lies' removal from its release, it's a disappointing announcement for fans who were anticipating the film's premiere.